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Sports Nutrition Findings

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No exercise to report. However, I did expend a tremendous amount of mental energy reading an article in the latest Rowing News magazine. It set forth highlights from the meeting of the ACSM last May. I'm sure many of you have seen them, but if you haven't, here are some that caught my eye:

1. Many athletes believe they need protein to build muscle. Yet a study showed that taking recovery protein (from Endurox or whatever) had no performance or muscle building advantages. I guess this is distinguishable, however, from its possible muscle recovery properties. This could be some of the research Jazz was alluding to when he announced that protein may not help build strength and changed his diet to exclude most protein, or at least meat.

2. Fruits, berries and black currants have antioxidant and anti-inflammantory properties. Real shocker there.

3. Actual food is more health protective than supplements. Q and Jazz say this all the time!

4. Almonds are awesome, particularly pre-exercise. Must be why Quicksilver munches them at his desk while sipping green tea ...

5. Athletes who exercise in the heat should hyper-hydrate, but make sure their sport drink contains a substantial amount of sodium.

6. Man athletic trainers use pickle juice to treat cramps. SwimmerGirlKT mentioned this on her blog awhile ago. Some report that 1-2 ounces can relieve cramping in seconds. The actual mechanism for this is illusive and indeterminate.

7. Chocolate milk is a good recovery drink. Wow, who'd a thunk?

8. Glutamine reportedly enhances recovery, yet a study comparing beverages with and without glutamine during and after exercise did not confirm this.

9. During exercise, an energy bar, sport drink or gel are all pretty much equally effective.

10. Exercise apparently improves learning based on studies done with younger children.

11. And check this out:

"Many youth swimmers spend hours training for relatively short competitive events. A six-week study with 9-12 year olds suggests high intensity/low volume training offers the same benefits as lower intensity/high volume training."

So don't burn young kids out! Wonder how this applies going forward as the pre-teens age?

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Updated August 13th, 2009 at 05:58 PM by The Fortress

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  1. Jazz Hands's Avatar
    That wasn't exactly the study I was alluding to, but it's a pretty common finding that ultra-high protein doesn't result in more muscle. The "magic" number these studies report tends to be around or maybe a little under 1.5 g/kg/day if I recall.

    Also I think I've seen a few studies on the importance of a small amount of protein (paired with a relatively large amount of carbs) after working out. Which explains the chocolate milk thing. Especially milk, because whey is quickly absorbed.
  2. scyfreestyler's Avatar
    I've stood on a soapbox more than a few times to convince people of #3.

    #7 is something that our head coach has been telling our kids for years. I suspect that the chocolate portion plays a very minor role in the recovery and is more of a lure.

    I've heard #11 before, and not just specific to swimming.
  3. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz Hands
    That wasn't exactly the study I was alluding to, but it's a pretty common finding that ultra-high protein doesn't result in more muscle. The "magic" number these studies report tends to be around or maybe a little under 1.5 g/kg/day if I recall.

    Also I think I've seen a few studies on the importance of a small amount of protein (paired with a relatively large amount of carbs) after working out. Which explains the chocolate milk thing. Especially milk, because whey is quickly absorbed.
    I wish I liked milk, but I can't stomach it. I have been putting whey protein in my post workout (or even pre-workout) smoothies all summer.

    Most athletes I know seem convinced that some kind of post workout food/recovery drink with 4:1 protein/carb mixture helps them bounce back faster.
  4. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by scyfreestyler
    I've stood on a soapbox more than a few times to convince people of #3.
    I do recall you saying that ...

    To me, kids seem utterly unconcerned with post workout recovery. They all sit and starve themselves during meets and don't always eat as soon as they should after working out.
  5. Bobinator's Avatar
    Are almonds better than walnuts? I read walnuts were superior but I'd prefer eating almonds.
  6. elise526's Avatar
    Not surprised about the study concerning 9-12 year olds. I coached this group in USA swimming for years and always enjoyed watching my low yardage/high intensity swimmers beat the living daylights out of those from the high yardage teams. In that age-group, IMHO, high-yardage breeds bad habits and poor technique.

    Swimming loses far too many kids to other sports at 12 or 13. Best to make practices short and sweet to keep kids enjoying the sport. Two male swimmers around here that quit before I started coaching were going amazing times as 8 year olds - 17.2 in 25 SCY breast and 13.9 in 25 SCY free. Both quit by the time they were 12 because they were burned out and wanted to play other sports. On the contrary, two male swimmers that I coached did not start swimming year-round until they were 13. One qualified for Y Nationals and the other one got a swimming scholarship (full ride) to Tennessee.

    Nothing is gained by pushing swimmers too hard when they are 12 and under. Sorry to get on my soapbox, but I hate to see 10 year old kids swimming 4,000 or 5,000 yards in a practice.
  7. qbrain's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by The Fortress
    Most athletes I know seem convinced that some kind of post workout food/recovery drink with 4:1 protein/carb mixture helps them bounce back faster.
    "Yet a study showed that taking recovery protein (from Endurox or whatever) had no performance or muscle building advantages."

    The protein + carbs combo is to aid in the speed of glycogen uptake in the muscle. If you have the name of the study, I would like to read it. But what you read is different, and maybe a popular misconception, of what protein + carbs post workout will do for you.

    Here is a list of the peer reviewed articles about carb+protein. The 4:1 ratio is certainly over stated and there is nothing magic about endurox.
    http://www.accelsport.com/product-in...4-studies.html

    #11, did you see my post in forums about a new training basis? I am still at the theory stage, but the basics are that you train from 1/4 your target event to 4x your target event, and use those times as your paces during your workout. So Jazz would never swim slower than his 200 pace, I would never swim slower than my 800 pace, and I would train a lot more at my 50 pace. Warm up, cool down and recovery fall outside of the pace work. Now all I need to do is find that darn article again.

    Long story short, if I trained no slower than my 800 pace, that would be a lot more fast work, a lot more rest and a lot less yardage.
  8. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bobinator
    Are almonds better than walnuts? I read walnuts were superior but I'd prefer eating almonds.
    No idea. I think this ACSM only tracked almonds. But I'm sure walnuts are excellent too.
  9. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by elise526
    Not surprised about the study concerning 9-12 year olds. I coached this group in USA swimming for years and always enjoyed watching my low yardage/high intensity swimmers beat the living daylights out of those from the high yardage teams. In that age-group, IMHO, high-yardage breeds bad habits and poor technique.

    Swimming loses far too many kids to other sports at 12 or 13. Best to make practices short and sweet to keep kids enjoying the sport. Two male swimmers around here that quit before I started coaching were going amazing times as 8 year olds - 17.2 in 25 SCY breast and 13.9 in 25 SCY free. Both quit by the time they were 12 because they were burned out and wanted to play other sports. On the contrary, two male swimmers that I coached did not start swimming year-round until they were 13. One qualified for Y Nationals and the other one got a swimming scholarship (full ride) to Tennessee.

    Nothing is gained by pushing swimmers too hard when they are 12 and under. Sorry to get on my soapbox, but I hate to see 10 year old kids swimming 4,000 or 5,000 yards in a practice.
    I completely agree! My swimmer kid only swam 2x a week until 11+ and did just fine. I try to tell parents this all the time, and a lot of the summer league parents ask me for advice about when/how much USA Swimming. Seeing 10 & Unders swimming every day seems ridiculous to me. Yes, they may love it now. But what about when they're 15? And success as a 12& U is just not all that predictive of success later. In fact, too much early success can result in plateaus and discouragement.
  10. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by qbrain
    "Yet a study showed that taking recovery protein (from Endurox or whatever) had no performance or muscle building advantages."

    The protein + carbs combo is to aid in the speed of glycogen uptake in the muscle. If you have the name of the study, I would like to read it. But what you read is different, and maybe a popular misconception, of what protein + carbs post workout will do for you.

    Here is a list of the peer reviewed articles about carb+protein. The 4:1 ratio is certainly over stated and there is nothing magic about endurox.
    http://www.accelsport.com/product-in...4-studies.html

    #11, did you see my post in forums about a new training basis? I am still at the theory stage, but the basics are that you train from 1/4 your target event to 4x your target event, and use those times as your paces during your workout. So Jazz would never swim slower than his 200 pace, I would never swim slower than my 800 pace, and I would train a lot more at my 50 pace. Warm up, cool down and recovery fall outside of the pace work. Now all I need to do is find that darn article again.

    Long story short, if I trained no slower than my 800 pace, that would be a lot more fast work, a lot more rest and a lot less yardage.
    I get your point above. I was trying to distinguish between protein actually building muscle and aiding in muscle recovery.

    I will have to go read your training theory thread; I've been feeling a bit brain dead lately and have been avoiding overstimulating myself intellectually. lol.

    I actually think that's pretty much how I was training though -- 1/4-4x my target event. I principally focus on 50s and swim 25s-200s in practice and do a fair amount of slow recovery swimming. (Although I will crank an aerobic set with my team or do a mellow 1000 yard aerobic set on my own as part of an extended warm up. I like to at least be able to extend to 100s!)

    And while this doesn't seem that novel at first blush to me, it probably would be a real sea change for middle distance types. My team is very mid-distance in orientation and, like virtually every masters team, doesn't train that way. My understanding is that this is how Mike Ross trains as well (swimming 50s-200s). He says he does virtually all race pace work, lower yardage 6x a week. As Jazz has pointed out before, doing race pace work necessarily incorporates some decent aerobic work as well.

    What do you think? Will you try this next season? Or perhaps incorporate this when you're swimming solo?

    For me, I think I need to focus on going faster at the 100-200 distances in my training.
    Updated August 14th, 2009 at 11:14 AM by The Fortress
  11. qbrain's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by The Fortress
    What do you think? Will you try this next season? Or perhaps incorporate this when you're swimming solo?
    I am already trying to incorporate it swimming solo, and I need to adopt the T1000 pace as my slow pace during team workouts. If I die, someone else can lead.

    I would like to get a little more organized with it. It looks like a formula could be made that would specify a target speed for every set. That might work really well for someone who wanted to follow the recipe, not that the recipe would be all that easy to follow

    I do think you had Jazz workout like this in the water on the sprint side. Lots of 12.5, 25 and 50 work, but very little 200 work. Obviously it is working for you two, so maybe more sprint, less endurance would work for the 200. We shall see
  12. rtodd's Avatar
    Husband update?
  13. quicksilver's Avatar
    Walnuts are very good for you. But they have a slightly higher fat concentration than almonds.
    On the other hand they're chock full of Omega 3's. That's good.

    Keeps your skin looking young. And supposedly reduces the brain fog in old age.

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m.../ai_n31562699/
  14. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by rtodd
    Husband update?
    Aw, thank, Robb.

    Lots of blood work to test for different things. Wait. Then bone marrow biopsy late August. Wait. Probably won't know too much for 2-4 weeks.
  15. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by quicksilver
    Walnuts are very good for you. But they have a slightly higher fat concentration than almonds.
    On the other hand they're chock full of Omega 3's. That's good.

    Keeps your skin looking young. And supposedly reduces the brain fog in old age.

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m.../ai_n31562699/
    So the brain fog doesn't start until old age? Really?
  16. quicksilver's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by The Fortress
    So the brain fog doesn't start until old age? Really?
    Mine started during kindergarten. Coffee has a way of curing it.
  17. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by quicksilver
    Mine started during kindergarten. Coffee has a way of curing it.
    Coffee is somewhat curative. That's why, contrary to my doc's wishes, I'm loathe to give it up!